The finalists of the 2018 Ocean Awards

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The finalists of the 2018 Ocean Awards

The finalists of the Ocean Awards have been revealed. Click through to see the finalists, with details of the category below.

The Local Hero Award finalists

This award recognises the individual or group that have taken the lead on globally-significant actions for the benefit of ocean health. The winner of this award will have shown consistent leadership and vision on ocean issues, going above and beyond others in their commitment to protecting marine life. This can include important policy initiatives and the people behind them.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have a demonstrable track record of leadership on marine issues. They must either have initiated or taken a lead in influencing a globally-significant effort for the benefit of the ocean, or seen a significant milestone in a previously initiated effort.

The finalists are:

  • Norlan Pagal, Anapog Fisherman’s Association
  • Juan Carlos Cardenas, Ecoceanos, Fighting Chilean Fisheries Privatisation and Protecting Patagonia & Antarctic Chile from Salmon Aquaculture
  • Absar Khan, Olive Ridley Project, Project Ghost Gear, Pakistan
  • Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui, Community coalition, Easter Island MPA

Norlan Pagal, Anapog Fisherman’s Association

Norlan Pagal had landed in the crosshairs of local criminals for his quiet but relentless commitment to enforcing the rule of law in Tañon Strait, a long, narrow stretch of the sea in the Central Philippines. Tañon Strait is one of the Philippines’ richest fishing grounds and a priority conservation area for reef fishes and cetaceans - including dwarf sperm whales and dugongs. Over the last 15 years, Pagal has defended his village’s patch of ocean from scores of illegal fishers - surviving beatings, homemade explosives, and gunfights in the process.

Absar Khan, Olive Ridley Project, Project Ghost Gear, Pakistan

Absar Khan is a highly motivated and passionate individual. His dedication to marine conservation in Pakistan has resulted in a community driven change on waste management. His enthusiasm encourages people from all backgrounds to be a part of a movement to improve how we treat the environment for the better. Absar absolutely fits the criteria as a local hero in Pakistan!

oliveridleyproject.org

Juan Carlos Cardenas, Ecoceanos, Fighting Chilean Fisheries Privatisation and Protecting Patgonia & Antarctic Chile from Salmon Aquaculture

Veterinarian, Juan Carlos is CEO of Chilean NGO Centro Ecocéanos for Conservation and Sustainable Development. For 38 years, he has led research, conservation and activism activities in Chile and internationally on marine biodiversity and marine mammal issues. Ecoceanos works to promote conservation and sustainable management of coastal and ocean ecosystems, the strengthening of public participation in decision-making and the sustainable development of artisanal fisheries and coastal communities. Ecoceanos encourages public engagement in issues affecting costal and ocean ecosystems both at the local level and worldwide.

Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui, Community coalition, Easter Island MPA

Te Mau o Te Vaikava o Rapa Nui has kept the issue of ocean protection and conservation at the forefront of the Rapa Nui's community dialogue for a long time. Their efforts included door-to-door campaigning, visiting over 2,000 households to educate community members about why the ocean around Easter Island should be protected. The organisation has also created an education program with school children and held several public events promoting the creation of a large marine protected area in Easter Island.

rapanuiocean.org

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The Science Award finalists

This award recognises the individual or research team that has made the most important scientific contribution to the ocean this year.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have published or significantly contributed towards a game changing piece of scientific research that can be used for the benefit of global marine conservation or ocean health.

The finalists are:

  • Ben Halpern, NCEAS - National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, including ongoing work ‘Planetary Boundaries for a Blue Planet’
  • David Obura, CORDIO, Western Indian Ocean, Ocean Economy Report
  • Fabiano Thompson (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) Amazon Reef Science
  • Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Science advisor Chasing Reef

Ben Halpern, NCEAS - National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, including ongoing work ‘Planetary Boundaries for a Blue Planet’

With NCEAS for two decades, Ben’s research interests are primarily in marine ecology and conservation planning but span a wide range of disciplines. He has led several broad research programs addressing different aspects of managing ocean ecosystems, including a global synthesis of how much and where MPAs meet conservation and fisheries objectives, development of new tools and the application of them to a global assessment mapping the cumulative impact of human activities on the ocean, and development/application of the Ocean Health Index. Among other things he worked on the 5th IPCC report & co-authored a 2017 paper on planetary boundaries for a blue planet.

benhalpernlab.org

David Obura, CORDIO, Western Indian Ocean, Ocean Economy Report

Dr Obura is the coordinator for CORDIO East Africa - CORDIO standing for Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean. CORDIO was initiated in 1999 as a response to the El-Niño related mass bleaching and mortality of corals in the Indian Ocean in 1998. It is a non-profit research organisation, registered in Kenya, with a network of projects, collaborators and partners that extends across the Indian Ocean. The organisation supports activities in mainland Africa and Indian Ocean island states, including research, monitoring and capacity building of coral reefs and coastal ecosystems. A primary focus is the implications of global and local threats to coral reef health and their long-term prospects and provision of socio-economic benefits. As David Obura states, ‘with the future of coral reefs in serious question, their role as an indicator of impending changes to other natural and human-dominated ecosystems is increasingly critical’, and so much of his work is focused on preparing for and mitigating future disasters. The past year has been an important one for David Obura and CORDIO as can be seen from his achievements.

cordioea.net

Fabiano Thompson (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Amazon Reef Science

Given the characteristics of the Amazon River Mouth: deep, turbid waters with low salinity and light penetration; a reef formation was deemed unlikely. However, this team of four scientists - Fabiano Thompson, Ronaldo Francini, Nils Asp and Eduardo Siegle - described in 2016 an extensive reef system off the Amazon mouth underneath the river plume. In 2017, the team sailed with Greenpeace to take the first images of the reef with submarines. This project is changing our knowledge about drivers of reef formation under suboptimal conditions and opens many possibilities concerning location, connectivity between Brazil and the Caribbean and actions needed to avoid rapid reef decline in face of accelerated global changes.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Science advisor Chasing Reef

Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the inaugural Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and Professor of Marine Science at the University of Queensland. He is a leading coral biologist whose work focusses on the impact of global warming and climate change on coral reefs, for example coral bleaching. He was described in an article by John Tanzer, leader of WWF’s Global Oceans Practice as having been one of the first scientists to have begun sounding the alarm about how serious a threat climate change would be to coral reefs around the world. He became well known in the 90s for proposing that a 1 or 2 degree rise in sea temperature would be enough to wipe out the Barrier Reef – at the time, he faced a lot of international criticism for this. In his role at University of Queensland he leads a large research laboratory, which focuses on the impacts of global warming and acidification on coral reef.

Pictures courtesy of: Shutterstock.com / Lukiyanova Natalia frenta (right)

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The Innovation Award finalists

This award recognises the individual, company or group that have done the most to be innovative for the benefit of the health of the ocean - this could include business operations which are not undertaken at the expense of the marine environment or development of the most promising new technology (or technologies) for the benefit of the marine environment.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have undertaken activities or commitments that will have a positive impact on the health of the marine environment, or have seen another significant milestone towards that goal. This activity or commitment must have been undertaken primarily to benefit the ocean.

The finalists are:

  • Momo Kochen, Yayasan Masyarakat dan Perikanan MDPI, Indonesia, Fair Trade Traceable Tuna
  • Ben Kibel, Fishtek & Hookpod Ltd. Various tech solutions including Hookpod & ProGlow

Momo Kochen, Yayasan Masyarakat dan Perikanan MDPI, Indonesia, Fair Trade Traceable Tuna

Momo Kochen is MDPI’s Director of Programs and Research - MDPI being an organisation which has been highly innovative with regards to small-scale fisheries data collection, traceability and market access. MPPI’s work has delivered tangible community benefits through a multifaceted program by working in the field and with the supply chains in Eastern Indonesia.

mdpi.or.id

Ben Kibel, Fishtek & Hookpod Ltd. Various tech solutions including Hookpod & ProGlow

Using technology to achieve conservation outcomes in fisheries is phenomenally challenging. As Director of Engineering at Fishtek, Ben has a very difficult set of criteria to stick to; develop products that deliver the conservation gains they are designed for, but are also tough, durable, low cost, and have no impact on either target catch or fishing operation. Failure in any of these key aspects dramatically reduces the chance of success.

The ProGlow, is an exceptional example of a device that adheres to these criteria whilst achieving its main purpose of creating a market alternative to environmentally damaging light-sticks.

hookpod.com

4/5

The Public Awareness Award finalists

This award recognises the individual or group that has done the most this year to advance public understanding of marine conservation issues, be it through the mainstream media, art forms, in schools, or through campaigning.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have initiated activities that have had a demonstrable impact on the public understanding of an important ocean issue (or issues), or seen a significant milestone in a previously implemented activity. Be this documentary makers, journalists etc.

The finalists are:

  • Microbeads Campaign, Sarah Baulch on behalf of, Environmental Investigation Agency UK, Fauna and Flora International, Greenpeace UK and the Marine Conservation Society
  • A Plastic Ocean, Jo Ruxton, Plastic Oceans
  • Blue Planet II, James Honeyborne and the Blue Planet Team, BBC

Microbeads Campaign, Sarah Baulch on behalf of: Environmental Investigation Agency UK, Fauna and Flora International, Greenpeace UK and the Marine Conservation Society

Plastic microbeads are polluting the oceans and ultimately end up in the food chain. Phasing out their use in household products would significantly reduce marine plastic litter. The Environmental Investigation Agency UK, Fauna and Flora International, Greenpeace UK and the Marine Conservation Society launched the Microbeads Coalition campaign, calling for the UK Government to implement a microbeads ban. It has committed to implementing a ban on microbeads in personal care products. Manufacture of products covered by this ban will be required to end by 1st January 2018, with the ban on sale coming into force on 30th June 2018.

eia-international.org
fauna-flora.org
greenpeace.org.uk
mcsuk.org

A Plastic Ocean, Jo Ruxton, Plastic Oceans

Jo has worked tirelessly to produce and promote the film, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ which gives an accurate account of the state of our oceans and how the scourge of plastic waste is threatening all oceans as well as the marine life that lives there. She has worked mostly without pay but never gave up because the message was so important. Promotion has involved speaking to school children, public groups and corporations to help spread the message across 60 countries. The film she initiated and worked on for eight years is making a difference to all who watch it.

plasticoceans.uk

Blue Planet II, James Honeyborne and the Blue Planet Team, BBC

Bettering Blue Planet was always going to be a challenge for the team working on Blue Planet II. As series producer for Blue Planet II, James Honeyborne had a lot to live up to but has exceeded expectations on many levels, overseeing the whole package.

Blue Planet II is superb storytelling, bringing extraordinary stories from our ocean into the living rooms of millions and imparting a vital message – that we humans must address the threats to the global ocean.

bbc.co.uk

5/5

The Visionary Award finalists

This award recognises the individual or group that have taken the lead on globally- significant actions for the benefit of ocean health. The winner of this award will have shown consistent leadership and vision on ocean issues, going above and beyond others in their commitment to protecting marine life. This can include important policy initiatives and the people behind them.

Criteria: Nominees for this award must have a demonstrable track record of leadership on marine issues. They must either have initiated or taken a lead in influencing a globally-significant effort for the benefit of the ocean, or seen a significant milestone in a previously initiated effort.

The finalists are:

  • Kristina Gjerde, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, High Seas and Deep Seas Specialist
  • Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu, Kenyan Government Minister, National Plastic Bag
  • The Last Ocean, Campaign to Protect The Ross Sea

Kristina Gjerde, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, High Seas and Deep Seas Specialist

For many years, Kristina Gjerde has worked tirelessly advocating the need for a legal instrument to manage the oceans and seabed beyond national jurisdiction and provide protection for high seas biodiversity. Kristina's work has been instrumental in influencing the decision to develop an international legally-binding instrument, under the UN Law of the Sea Convention and in triggering transformation of high seas marine protected areas from a theoretical concept to a practical tool. Kristina has also co-founded a number of initiatives focused on protection of high seas biodiversity including the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative and the Sargasso Sea Alliance.

gobi.org

sargassoseacommission.org

Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu, Kenyan Government Minister, National Plastic Bag

Professor Judi Wakhungu is the Cabinet Secretary of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources for Kenya. She was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 25th April 2013. As Minister she has overseen the introduction of a new law banning plastic bags which came into force on 28th August 2017. The law, which is considered one of the strictest in the world, means that anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying them could face fines of up to $38,000 or prison sentences of up to four years. The law was announced in February giving 6 months for people to adept and was the third attempt at introducing such a law, there having been previous attempts in 2007 and 2011. Kenya follows Rwanda’s banning of single use plastic bags in 2008 and is now considered to have been highly successful. There has been much debate about the impacts on those employed in making plastic bags and the Minister has consistently argued that there will be economic benefits as well as environmental benefits stemming from the new law.

The Last Ocean, Campaign to Protect The Ross Sea

The Last Ocean project catalysed the global campaign to obtain a marine protected area in the Ross Sea in Antarctica. It took many years to achieve the Ross Sea MPA and multiple actors - individuals, NGOs and Governments - contributed but it was the small team who coined the term The Last Ocean for the Ross Sea who had the vision and inspired many significant others with that vision. John Weller and Peter Young created films and photos that were a huge asset in promoting the need for protection, and spent significant time speaking to the public as well as policymakers to raise awareness. Their efforts brought the beauty and fragility of this remote place to life and made the urgency of protection tangible even to those who had never seen it. Their work was vital to the success of the campaign.

lastocean.org

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